Matthew Hecker, executive director of schools in the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, announced this week that he will step down from his role over the next three years.
Hecker, the former dean of students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will help the diocese hire an assistant in the coming months who will eventually take on his role when he retires in 2024.
Bishop James Conley and the diocese will begin a search this fall, Hecker said, hoping to identify a pool of candidates this winter or spring.
Hecker, 64, said the transition would allow him to take on more duties as the diocese’s first permanent deacon after his ordination in May, including helping Conley plan and schedule diocesan programs.
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“The time is right,” Hecker told The Journal Star on Wednesday. “This diaconal identity that I have now is being able to serve the bishop and the diocese in ways other than schools.”
Hecker was originally appointed superintendent of schools for the diocese when he was hired in 2018 after Bishop. John Perkinton has announced he is stepping down.
But Hecker then asked Perkinton to remain superintendent to serve as a liaison with the Nebraska Department of Education and parishes while Hecker took over the day-to-day administrative reins in the newly created role of administrative director.